YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl has confirmed that all of the company’s Originals content will be made available free of charge. It previously required its users to pay for a YouTube Premium subscription to access these shows but now the YouTube Originals content will include advertisements when viewed by regular users and in the near future YouTube Originals will be free for everyone to watch. With this change in buisness strategy, you’ll be able to watch popular YouTube Premium shows like Cobra Kai, Lazer Team and Liza on Demand for free with ads.
However, anyone who doesn’t want to pay for Premium will have ad interruptions when viewing YouTube Originals. In addition, the shows will only be free to watch for a limited period before presumably going back behind the paywall.
“While every other media company is racing to put their content behind the paywall, we’re headed in the opposite direction by making our original content available for free,” Kyncl said at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event. Brandcast is geared mostly towards advertisers and allows YouTube to inform them of its future plans, current strategies, etc.
One of the most popular YouTube Originals programs is Cobra Kai, a follow-up to The Karate Kid film and now the first season of Cobra Kai will become free to watch from August 29 to September 11, after which season two will be available. A third season was just given the green light.
Company CEO Susan Wojcicki also spoke, addressing the issue of misinformation and hate speech on YouTube. She said, “I recognize that there is still work to be done, but we are committed to getting this right”, pointing out that millions of offending videos are removed, the majority of which “have not received a single view”.